Lamar Jackson is bringing the ache.
That ache isn’t confined to opponents, however Jackson is sticking it to the Ravens simply as arduous. In the primary half of Baltimore’s Week 2 sport in opposition to the Miami Dolphins, he threw for 210 yards with three landing passes and simply two incompletions, connecting on almost 85 % of his makes an attempt.
While Baltimore’s protection melted down within the fourth quarter and the Dolphins got here from behind to win 42-38, that’s not on Jackson. All he did was shine, throwing a 75-yard landing go and scrambling for a 79-yard landing run, turning into the primary participant ever to do each in a single sport.
Jackson is doing it his manner, which occurs to be by way of the air. He isn’t trying to take off and run on many of those performs, though he did rush for almost 40 yards on six carries within the first half-hour of the sport. The backside line is that in his contract 12 months, the younger star is on a mission to indicate his franchise that they need to’ve paid him what he needed within the offseason.
The Ravens are reportedly not inclined to supply Jackson the totally assured $200 million contract he needs. Jackson allegedly turned down a suggestion simply earlier than the beginning of the season worth $290 million as a result of the cash wasn’t totally assured. In the meantime, he’s on observe to earn $23 million this 12 months — a cut price for Baltimore given his lights-out play.
And at this level, irrespective of how eye-popping Jackson’s request may be, the Ravens and their proprietor, Steve Bisciotti, could be loopy to not pay.
Baltimore could possibly be in huge bother on the bargaining desk if Jackson continues on this sizzling streak. In Week 1 in opposition to the Jets, Jackson threw three TDs and one interception. Then got here his stellar play this week. And with each large sport, Baltimore seems to be sillier and sillier if they permit him to stroll.
If Jackson can sustain this degree of play, the Ravens will probably be in a difficult scenario subsequent offseason. Averaging wherever close to three passing TDs per sport is MVP territory — a trophy he’s already taken as soon as, when he grew to become solely the second participant to ever win the award unanimously. (Tom Brady was the primary.)
Jackson is sticking to his plan, and it’s figuring out thus far. The proven fact that he’s negotiating with out an agent feels far much less related than some need you to consider. He’s not the primary participant to have performed it and certainly received’t be the final — Richard Sherman dealt with his personal contract talks with the 49ers in 2019 (and was criticized after settling for simply $3 million assured). The distinction is that Sherman had been seen as “past his prime,” though he did make the Pro Bowl in 2019. Also, Sherman wasn’t a quarterback, so the highlight wasn’t as brilliant.
Baltimore is months away from having to make an especially robust choice. One of the hardest within the historical past of the franchise. They can persist with their weapons and refuse to completely assure Jackson’s deal, or threat him strolling away on the finish of the season after finishing the fifth and remaining 12 months on his rookie deal. The odds of Baltimore discovering one other once-in-a-generation franchise QB to observe Lamar are slim. It occurred for the Colts and Packers that manner, nevertheless it’s extremely uncommon.
Whether it’s with the Ravens or a special group, Jackson is setting himself up for a monumental payday with how he’s taking part in early within the season. There will probably be a staff prepared to take that likelihood on a former MVP and one of many 10 greatest QBs within the league right this moment. Hopefully, Baltimore doesn’t let this sort of expertise get away.
It’s arduous to discover a QB that may put your staff in playoff competition 12 months after 12 months once they’re wholesome. The Ravens have that however appear prepared to threat all of it and doubtlessly let Jackson stroll over to a different staff with none compensation. If you’re a Ravens fan, that might be the hardest capsule to swallow.